Whatever Field You’re In – Thoughts from “Farm, Family, and ME!” Summit for Women

As I waited for the opening session of the 2019 Farm, Family, and ME! Summit for Women, I enjoyed being a fly on the wall. I knew no one there. The room filled; the noise level rose, and various conversations began to flow. As with most conferences, the individual participants had their own motivations for being there, but each was there for one reason. They were there to grow in the field of agriculture.

With each introduction, I was pleased to learn my new acquaintance’s name and what branch of farming they represented. Many were there with backgrounds in cattle, hogs, and row cropping. Others represented agri-tourism, sustainable, organic farming, and accounting and farm investment firms. (I was the only turkey farmer.)

The pride each woman showed for her role in the world of agriculture added to my own joy in having grown up and now seeing my own family raised on a farm. The hard work, dirty jobs, and relentless demands of livestock and crops all seemed to be fodder for the flames that grew with each presentation and sharing of information.

20190905_175135.jpg

Me enjoying some Missouri-made wine

While this conference was intended to create networking and educational opportunities, it had a feel of an agricultural retreat. The breakout sessions, locally sourced meals,  Missouri-made wines, and positive ideas and options for female farmers were highly therapeutic and invigorating. I definitely left there with a renewed sense of purpose and a brighter view of what I wanted my role in our family farm to be.

Having Marji Guyler-Alaniz, host of FarmHer television, as the opening speaker elevated us to rural rock star status. But before Marji even took the stage, Missouri’s first lady Teresa Parson made a cameo appearance and took the opportunity to meet many of us, asking where we were from and about our farms, and then spoke on the importance of agriculture for our state. She was positive, professional, and approachable. A perfect tone-setter for the summit.

summit-3.jpgThe motivation and story about how FarmHer came to be was one that resonated because of its non-traditional roots and the earnest desire to give the female farmer a voice in our nation’s most necessary industry. With her statistics and experiences, it was impossible to ignore the message being shared by Marji. (I was already a fan of the show, but now my DVR is set to record every episode.) Continue reading “Whatever Field You’re In – Thoughts from “Farm, Family, and ME!” Summit for Women”

Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday

Opportunity Visits

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor”Into the Woods

These words always seem to pop up in my life at just the right time.

For the last month, I have not been writing much (the whole, “I’m too busy” thing). Each day that I don’t write separates me from the messages I wish to share and the healthy practice of jotting down my thoughts and experiences. Those thoughts and experiences may not come again. Reflecting on this quote from Into the Woods, I find myself with renewed vigor for writing and encouraging others to share their own thoughts and works.

What talent or passion have you been neglecting?

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

I have wrestled with finding time to take a break for myself. Creating opportunities for quiet, peaceful time with my family has also failed to make its way into my schedule. If I don’t instigate those calm, restorative moments with my family and for myself, who will?

Please take time for yourself and those you love. Peace has to begin in our hearts and homes before it can be found all over Earth. Continue reading “Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday”

When Life Gives You Bananas…

We all know the adage, “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” What about when life gives you bananas?

Recently my mom came into a pile of bananas. Literally, there was a pile of bananas at her work that were just going to be thrown out because they were overripe. Not wanting to let good bananas go to waste, Mom politely asked if she could have them. Her manager said, “Yes, my wife will kill me if I bring home another box of brown bananas.”

When she got home Mom set to work putting the soft, but still yummy, bananas to good use. She baked a banana cake, banana bread, and banana muffins. She still had a few of the aged fruits left over; she will surely come up with a clever way to use them. (Fertilizer for her rose bushes, maybe?)

Bananas (3)Saturday night, Mom and Dad joined us for dinner. She brought the banana cake. It was awesome! (In fact I had one of the last pieces this morning with my coffee. A terrific way to start a Monday morning.) She plans to share her banana muffins with her co-workers at school. I am sure the banana bread has a generous future too.

What do you do when life gives you bananas?

Do you toss them out? Do you let the fruit rotten? Do you make them into something that is still enjoyable? Do you fertilize your flowers? Continue reading “When Life Gives You Bananas…”

Stand Tall (even when you’re drowning)

Stand Tall (even when you’re drowning)

Above water

When man-made lakes are formed, trees, fields, plains, and old homesteads are all covered with the collecting waters. What was once a forest or a small civilization becomes sights unseen. In spite of the hundreds of years put into growing those trees, we now only see a small tip of what made its way past the 30 or 50 or even 75 foot mark. The treetops are the only reminder of that tree’s grandeur for us.

Yes, there are still things we value in this tree. For example, tying your boat to the tree’s tallest boughs provides a successful spot for fishing, because now fish make their nests in its branches, instead of birds.We know that the roots still run deep, holding the foundation for the lake in place, and continuing to provide shelter for the animals that call the lake “home.”

The clusters of once mighty leaf-bearers are now skeletons reaching for the sky, proving they are still standing strong, leafless, broken, and drowning, but strong. Continue reading “Stand Tall (even when you’re drowning)”